Being Unhappy at the Job – and Ways to Fix the Problem

by Bill on December 5, 2013

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Being unhappy at your current job is often a result of many things. There are also many things you can do to be part of the solution to being unhappy at your current job.

Over at The Prairie Ecothrifter, a blog I subscribe to, they had a post today that made me think. The topic there deals with being unhappy with your job and how to make yourself happier.

Now the reason Daisy’s blog post struck home with me is that she finds herself in a similar situation to what I was in back in 2007. I, like her, was happy to get the position I had; and after a time there I felt as if I could get no farther in the company than where I was. If you’re in a similar situation, you may feel as if you are underemployed or not making the best use of your skills.

Here’s a quick summary of that topic, and my take on it. Daisy brought up three good points. You can confront the issue, switch jobs or ask for a different assignment.

Confronting the issue of being unhappy with your current job is always something I would recommend. If you don’t confront the issue, how will you know what the actual problem is or how to find the solution? The trick is to be meaningful in the search and use positive methods to the outcome.

How do you know what the issue is? Make a list of why the job makes you unhappy. Write this down. On paper single issues may not seem like much, but combined they may show a pattern or overall problem. If you spot an overlying trend you can then go after a common solution to fix many of the issues. If, on the other hand, there are issues that you just cannot fix on your own, then maybe it is time to take the next step.

Go to the boss and ask for help. Now I know this may seem redundant or impossibly simplistic, but how do you know if you don’t try? Ask for a different assignment. Ask to go do a different position. Stress your strengths and skills and how they would help the company. Always put yourself in a positive light in a way that best suits the employer. Sell yourself. You did that to get into the company; now do it again to get a better slot.

If this becomes an impossible situation, and you just cannot maintain any momentum at all, you have one option left.

This would be to find a new job. Seriously, if the issues at your current job are making you unhappy, and you simply cannot solve the problem constructively, why stay there. Before you go about doing this though, seek out help from your supervisor. Ask them their opinion on the issues. Find out if there is something you missed. If the boss is part of an issue, than forget that part.

Office politics and favoritism are two of the most common issues that you cannot fix alone; and should probably just as well be avoided. I worked in a couple of small family run businesses where you knew anyone outside the family was also low man on the ladder seemingly forever unless the boss or owner really liked you. If you like working for a family business you’re fine. But if you’re unhappy at your job, it’s almost like hitting a brick wall.

If you do consider seeking a new job, here’s a post I wrote that might help on that subject. Do not quit your old job before getting a new one; no matter how frustrating the old job seems to get. Been there, done that and regretted it later – every time.

Now, here’s where I part from Daisy and add another idea. Volunteering. No, not at your job. Volunteer at organizations you feel close to, that suits your beliefs. Again, you don’t know if one of those positions may lead to a new job. People talk; so stress your skills and strengths accordingly. Networking, even when volunteering, could lead to a way out.

Here’s another idea: acquire more skills, or upgrade the ones you have now. If it seems as if you can’t get out of the current job for at least a few months, why not make use of the time. Get into some online course work. Take a couple of classes during a college semester. Things are always changing around you; the thing to do is to change with the world around you.

And another idea: start side jobs. If you’re good at accounting, electrical, any kind of service trade, try it out a few hours a week on your own. I know a woman with Cerebral Palsy who started a rather successful pet sitting business from her love of animals. I knew another lady who went to flea markets on days off; she decided to set up her own stand. This eventually led her to a consignment and used furnishings store that ran for over ten years. So it is possible.

If you find yourself being unhappy at the job, first figure out why. Then, figure out what you can do about it. Taking small simple actions can lead to bigger and better things.

Feel free to add your suggestions for those who are still unhappy with their job.

William Swan, writer

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Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter December 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Thanks for the shout-out and for reading my post, Bill. I think volunteering is a great option for many people, and you’ve brought up some great points. There are plenty of options for people if they want to leave their jobs to make themselves happier with their work environment.
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Bill December 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

There are options available. If more people would take the time to look at what’s available to them using what they already know, I think more people would find a way out of the minimum wage trap.

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